Photo courtesy of USDA

Photo courtesy of USDA

Throughout October, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will conduct its biannual Farm Labor Survey. NASS will reach out to more than 440 Hawai‘i producers to accurately measure hired labor on Hawai‘i farms, according to USDA.

“Farm labor is a key component of the entire agricultural economy,” said Kathy King, State Statistician from the NASS Hawai‘i Field Office. “Farmers who respond to the survey provide timely, relevant data that farmers, associations, and leaders in the public and private sectors use to make all sorts of important policy and business decisions.”

USDA and the Department of Labor will use the statistics obtained from farmers to help establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs, and assist legislators in determining labor policies.

The survey asks participants to provide information about farm labor on their operations, including total number of hired farm workers, hours worked, and wage rates paid for the weeks of Oct. 11-17 and July 12-18, 2015. For their convenience, survey participants will have the option to respond online at or by mail.

NASS will compile, analyze and publish survey results in the Farm Labor report, to be released on Nov. 19.

“Participating in this survey is a convenient and effective way for farmers to guide potential labor and economic policies, locally in their very own communities as well as at the national level. Policymakers use Farm Labor report data to inform their reasoning and decisions, so I encourage farmers to take advantage of this opportunity help provide them with accurate data,” said King.

All farm labor reports are available online at For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Hawai‘i Field Office at 1-800-804-9514.